APD: Robbery gone bad led to Spring Street chaos

The chain reaction of wrecks that left seven people injured Friday afternoon while stifling traffic on Spring Street downtown started with a robbery gone awry, according to Atlanta police.

An off-duty police officer working at the Varsity heard the crash at the intersection of Spring Street and North Avenue around 2:30 p.m. The red SUV driven by the suspects had smashed into one car, causing it to collide with two other vehicles, flipping one.

The APD officer noticed two men fleeing from the SUV, police said. The driver, Laquan Johnson, was found hiding inside a church on West Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue, the incident report states.

The other, Leslie Robinson, had been shot in the hand, police said. When Robinson — who had outstanding warrants in Douglas and Cobb counties — was arrested, officers found a bag filled with what’s believed to be cocaine inside his pants pocket.

Another passenger, Deontray Bellman, had been shot in the chest, according to police. Both shootings occurred inside the red SUV in the Varsity parking lot. Three weapons, a bag containing suspected marijuana and $815 in cash were found in the suspects’ car.

A third passenger in the car, Brandi Jackson, was also arrested, police said.

None of the seven people, including two children, ages 3 and 4, injured in the car accidents were seriously hurt.

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